Student Profile: Candy Wong

Name: Candy Wong
Title: Program Manager
Company: Microsoft
National Origin: Canada
Current Location: Cambridge, MA
Industry: Technology/Computer Software
Educational Background: BASc in Systems Design Engineering, University of Waterloo
ASP Classes: MAS.665/15.375 - Development Ventures (Fall 2016)

What factors brought you to the Advanced Study Program?

Product design is central to my job, and one of the prevailing challenges is building better understanding of customer needs. I wanted to immerse myself in a diverse group of people, learn to see problems through different lenses, and become a more inclusive problem solver. MIT was a great fit for gaining insights into delivering solutions for target users, and exposure to problem-solving methods used in other companies and industries. The ASP’s flexibility let me study while working full-time, and because MIT classrooms and student centers are walking distance from my office, it was easy to weave lectures and group work time into my schedule.

What’s different about your professional life post-ASP?

One of the most helpful things has been how ASP has enabled me to participate in the MIT community. I found it to be very supportive and full of strong, innovative thinkers who are welcoming of anyone who is inspired to make a difference. In addition to my class work, I’ve had the opportunity to work on a non-profit venture and participate in business competitions. As a result, I’ve developed skills in pitching ideas, brainstorming, and collaborating with teammates from varied backgrounds, and I’ve been able to bring that mindset back to my current job.